So, I’m sitting down for dinner with my two grandchildren, teenagers both, trying hard not to sound like a boomer. And failing. That’s what boomers do, especially when we try to emulate teenagers and sound “hip.” Just don’t go there.
If I may, you don’t become cooler with age, but you do care less and less about being cool. It’s the “boomer’s paradox.”
Anyway, pondering my own teen years. Those were pretty confusing times. Vietnam, the Cold War, the Kennedy assassination, the emergence of X-rated movies, and don’t forget My Mother the Car and lava lamps – so it’s hard to make a comparison. But as for just being teenagers, I guess they face the same growing-up angst.
Since those “times they are a-changin’ days,” parents still try to raise their kids to be nice, or at least be tolerant of each other. I’m reminded of an article I read in the New York Times about a two-year study on today’s young’uns by a clinical psychologist whose findings were reassuring. She said this: “The press and general public like to see them as spoiled and not having to work hard for anything except grades and being very entitled. But they’re courageous, energetic, optimistic, and really smart.”
That’s quite a summation, and I hesitate to think otherwise. I must, however, add that, unfortunately, some kids are jerks. There will always be a “bad crowd.” But then again, every generation has its share of jerks and bad crowds.
No matter the era, close-knit communities like Socorro and Magdalena are the best kind of places to raise up a passel of kids.
Before you say it, I know that no towns are picture-perfect, but people in these parts cope and keep up with the times. Old folks pass away and babies are born, a business will close and a business will open, and all the while, we continue on and take things in stride.
What Heraclitus said around 500 BC still goes, that change is the only constant thing. And change isn’t necessarily bad, and some of the changes can improve our lives, such as using a piece of plastic to pay for things, but even that’s not new.
Having said that, my thinking is that life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother instead of major credit cards.
But I’m digressing.
It’s April, and things are blooming like crazy. There’s been an unusual amount of sneezing the past couple of weeks, and accordingly, the Almighty is being called on to bless every ah-choo. For each sneeze, there follows at least one “God bless you” and possibly a gesundheit for variety, while I prefer the more colloquial “blesshoo.”
This custom may have started in the 6th Century by Pope Gregory, who encouraged requesting this Divine intervention since sneezing was often the first sign that somebody was falling ill with the Plague. Although the Plague is practically non-existent these days, we still sneeze with COVID, the flu and the common cold, but this time of year, with the wind blowing all sorts of spores and sprigs and particles through the window, I’m betting on allergies.
But you might want to get out the rat poison if you’re otherwise worried.
If I may digress once more, I got a dispatch from a reader who never fails to call to my attention any minor grammatical indiscretion I may have committed in this publication.
He’s the one who occasionally points out one of my typos or misspellings, but this time he poses a question.
Which is it: Farmers market? Farmer’s market. Or Farmers’ market?
Is it descriptive? Declarative? Plural possessive? Singular possessive?
Is the market for farmers only? Does one farmer run the market? Is the market run by many farmers?
Well, OK. All is irrelevant. What is relevant is the market itself, and while it’s able to carry on in the Youth Center, just wait until it moves back to the Plaza in June.
Punctuation matters, of course, if you want to be clear and I’m sure you’ve seen gaffes like “let’s eat Grandpa” instead of “let’s eat, Grandpa.” Or “Cows Please Close Gate.” And then there are the random quotation marks that change the meaning of something, like the sign that said “Fresh” fish. And don’t get me started on then and than, or there, their and they’re.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already through the first week of April, and in a couple of days, we’ll be hiding Easter eggs for the kiddoes and biting the heads off chocolate bunnies. Me? I’m fighting off the urge to squander my hard-earned cash on a Cadbury creme egg, a weakness of mine right after jelly doughnuts at John Brooks. Or is it Brook’s? Or Brooks’?
Correct grammar is a minefield.